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Letters to the Editor: Sept. 19, 2012

Letters to the Editor: Sept. 19, 2012


Parental Praise

Great article ("Creative Parenting," Sept. 12)! As a mother of a six-year-old girl and a five-month-old boy, I can totally relate! Personally, I think the most important thing we can do for our children is love them unconditionally and tell them that all of the time, listen to their silly stories, play with them and read to them. This time flies, and it's up to us to make those happy memories.

Long Beach

Measure U

Save Rural Angwin and Adventists for the Preservation of Pacific Union College's Heritage should be commended for their efforts to keep Angwin a rural community as described in the Napa County general plan update and to protect PUC from urban encroachment. This is in accord with Ellen G. White, a cofounder of the Adventist Church, who led PUC from Healdsburg in 1909 to Angwin because of urbanization. She observed, "While men slept, the devil sowed houses."

Measure U supports PUC in its academic mission. However, PUC's board of trustees—few live in Napa County—has scant concern for Angwin and Napa County. The 591-unit subdivision they once proposed for Angwin would have increased Angwin's population by 46 percent and put 1,200 vehicles and their accompanying pollution on Napa County's roads. Now they are collaborating with the same developer on a new project, and again, vulnerable land is in the bull's-eye.

Measure U benefits Angwin and PUC. Fields farmed for a hundred years in the heart of Angwin will be beyond the grasp of developers, PUC will have a larger core campus and its water-treatment plant will be able to expand if the college grows. Measure U saves Napa County taxpayers the enormous costs year after year for services such as fire, police and road maintenance a city on the top of Howell Mountain would require. On average, residential development costs the taxpayer $1.50 while realizing $1.00 in tax revenue; agriculture and open space gives opposite results.

Measure U targets an inappropriate designation. The county assigns designations for the good of the whole community, not one property owner. This is fairness. The people of Napa County have traditionally and wisely protected agricultural land and open spaces from inappropriate development. That is why Napa County is unique in its unspoiled beauty. Please continue Napa's proud tradition and preserve the rural character of Angwin. Vote yes on Measure U.


Fixing the Library

Many people have voiced concern lately about the impending review of the Library's Joint Powers Agreement. The JPA is the document underlying the governance of the Sonoma County Library system.

A small but powerful faction of the library administration has been spreading a campaign of fear. They variously claim that if the JPA is revised at all, the whole agreement will be gutted, the library's funding will be jeopardized, the county supervisors will take over the running of the library, and the library will be laid open to censorship.

Last week members of SOCOSOL (Sonoma County Save Our Libraries) met with Supervisors Mike McGuire and Efren Carillo; both supervisors offered complete assurances that the library funding is not open for discussion in the current review of the Joint Powers Agreement. Both supervisors agree that there was never any intention to rewrite the section of the JPA governing the library's funding. Furthermore, the Library Commission is well aware of this fact, because the supervisors personally informed the chairperson to that effect.

It is worth knowing that the Sonoma County Library system had several major funding crises after the JPA was signed, from 1978 through 1987, and was bailed out at different times by the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors, the State Legislature and the cities. In these cases, the JPA was not what protected the library; it was the fact that the community supported and wanted a library. The current administration does not trust the public and wants to shut it out of any debate on library priorities, hence the commission's refusal to even address the issue of restoring hours.

Now is the time for concerned citizens to come forward and make suggestions for improvement. The library can get better. Make your voice heard.

Retired Reference Librarian, Sonoma County Library

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